Cards finish fifth at Tullymore invite

STANWOOD — With district and regional tournaments coming up, Big Rapids golf coach Mark Posey knows the key to his team’s success will rest after their tee shots.

The Cardinals looked good driving the ball on Monday during the Tullymore Invitational, but struggled on their approach shots and on the green, finishing in a three-way tie for fifth place in the 14-team invitational.

Posey said the team will need to continue to work on its short game with some of the marquee tournaments approaching.

“We’re still trying to get the ball in around the green and minimize any mistakes,” he said. “I saw a lot of good tee shots, we just didn’t see those second shots.

IMPACT: Big Rapids’ Blaze Hogan hits an approach shot during the Tullymore Invitational on Monday. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

“They spend a lot of time on the short game,” he added. “We’re looking at a district and regional golf course where your tee shots have to be put in play. They’ve got to get up and down. It’s disappointing to see them struggle (Monday) when we should be getting better, but it’s a difficult course, which plays into it a little.”

The Cardinals shot a 338, to place tied for fifth with Ludington and Mount Pleasant. Holt finished first at the invite, shooting a 307.

Big Rapids was led by Blaze Hogan, who finished tied for the fourth-best score on the afternoon with a 75, while fellow senior Tim Dawkins shot a 77. Derrick Defever shot a 91, Brad Walling carded a 95 and Ray Nouhan shot a 102 to round out the scoring for the Cardinals.

With the exception of a couple bad holes on Monday, Posey said Hogan and Dawkins are on track to be playing their best golf at the end of the season.

“Blaze put up 75 (Monday),” he said. “He struggled on a couple of holes, but he’s close. Tim (Dawkins) also had one bad hole, but both of those guys are almost there.”

Becoming more well-rounded golfers is a process that is learned throughout the season, Posey said.

“All year they’ve been consistent off the tees and with their irons,” he said. “We spent a lot of time learning how to make our way through a golf course. We need to work on learning where you can miss it and where you can hit it along with their short games. That’s where their strokes are.”

While Tullymore provided a stiff challenge his team might not see again this season, the opportunity to play on a prestigious golf course is always a positive.

“The course is probably a little tougher than what we’d normally see,” he said. “There’s a lot of carry out there and a lot of water. It’s a beautiful course, though, and we’re really glad they give time to junior golfers to let us come out and experience it.”

Tullymore Invitational

Holt 307, Midland Dow 319, Suttons Bay 332, Grand Ledge 335, Big Rapids 338, Mount Pleasant 338, Ludington 338, Bay City Western 339, Alma 341, St. Johns 342, North Muskegon 355, Bay City Central 356, Midland High 358, Central Montcalm 364, Shelby 391.

Big Rapids

Blaze Hogan 75, Tim Dawkins 77, Ray Nouhan 102, Derrick Defever 91, Brad Walling 95.

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